Congratulations to Drs. Mark Mulder of Sociology and James K.A. Smith of Philosophy, whose recently published article, "Subdivided by Faith? An Historical Account of Evangelicals and the City" (PDF) in Christian Scholar's Review, considers the role of culture, and religion in particular, as factors that influence the discussions of anti-urban bias in American society.
CSR's faculty Fellows for 2006-2008, Drs. Mark Mulder of Sociology and James K.A. Smith of Philosophy, will present the findings from their study "Subdivided by Faith." In a previous landmark study, Divided by Faith, Michael Emerson and Christian Smith articulated the ways in which evangelical spirituality and practice actually contributed to the racialization and segregation of American culture - the very antithesis of the picture of the redeemed community from every nation, tribe, people and language (Rev. 7:9).
Drs. Mulder and Smith's study seeks to launch a correlate (and supplementary) initiative that considers whether evangelicals tend to exhibit an anti-urban bias that fosters a negative view of urban life, and thus contributes to the growth of suburban and exurban social arrangements. And if this is the case, what are the factors of evangelical theology and spirituality that might lead to this correlation? Exploring a relationship between evangelical spirituality and geographical habits requires both a nuanced understanding of theology (particularly ecclesiology), as well as the rigor of social scientific analysis. The "Subdivided by Faith" study seeks to embody a theologically-informed sociology and a sociologically-accountable theology.
Meeter Center Lecture Hall|
February 26, 2009
|Constructing a study|
of faith and cities
CSR’s faculty Fellows for 2006-2008 are Drs. Mark Mulder of Sociology (on left above) and James K. A. Smith of Philosophy (on right above). The duo will present a report on their work in progress, “Subdivided by Faith,” at the conference on Ecclesiology and Ethnology at Yale University’s Center for Faith and Culture on Saturday morning, September 28.
In Spring 2007, students from Dr. Smith’s Philosophy of the Social Sciences class (PHIL 201/SOC 395) and Dr. Mulder’s Urban Sociology class (SOC 302) interviewed local residents from a wide range of religious traditions and geographies to gain insight into religious believers’ attitudes toward urban areas. The presentation at Yale will draw on the scholars’ early readings of these interview transcripts.
Jamie Smith (Philosophy) and Mark Mulder (Sociology) are the CSR Project Fellows for the 2006-2008 academic years. They’re planning a pilot study of evangelical Christians’ attitudes and beliefs about cities and residential patterns. Read on for excerpts from their proposal…